From summer temperatures of more than 40°C to winter mornings that can plummet to -7°C, the ACT region certainly experiences the highs and lows of all four seasons.
According to Rachael Turner, Acting General Manager ActewAGL, space heating accounts for more than half of the year’s energy use in the colder months for most households.
Rachael says data supports the adage that Canberrans wait until Anzac Day before turning on heaters, with figures from 2018 showing that Canberrans used around 25% more energy in May than in April. There’s a steady increase in energy consumption across the ACT from early May.
To help save some energy this winter, she offers the following tips:
• Upgrading appliances can seem costly but it will result in savings in the long term. Your old gas heating system may be costing you much more to run than you think. Saving energy means saving costs.
• After heating, hot water is the second-biggest consumer of energy in most Canberra homes, accounting for 16% of total energy use. Reduce the temperature of your hot water storage tank to 60°C to save up to 10% on water heating. If you have an instantaneous hot water system, check that your thermostat is no higher than 50°C.
• When stove-top cooking, you can reduce energy use by up to 70% by simmering with pot lids on.
• Use a microwave where possible; they use about 80% less energy than your stove.
• Electric dryers are the fourth-biggest energy users in the home. If you do use a dryer, throw a small dry towel in with your load to absorb the moisture of the wet clothes (taking it out when it becomes too wet itself). It can speed up drying time by 25%.
• For Canberrans with a smart meter, it’s cheaper to run your appliances after 8pm AEST or spread appliance usage during the peak demand period of 5-8pm AEST.
Actsmart hosts a range of free workshops that will teach you how to save energy and money while staying comfortable this winter. Upcoming topics include draught proofing your home (30 May) and heating your home (20 June). Register via Eventbrite.